Hello everyone! If you haven’t heard, I have a new weekly blog series called “Level Up” where, every Sunday, I’d touch on a way to take your blog and/or business to the next level. You can check out all the other posts in the series here!
Now, last week on Level Up, we talked about the basics of SEO: what it is, why you should care, and some starter tips as to how to navigate SEO. Today, I wanted to get more in depth, though, and share my strategy for leveraging SEO so that search engines can rank my blog higher in searches. As well, I wanted to share the tools and resources I use to help me out when making my blog more SEO-friendly. Let’s go….
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): making a website or, specifically, a post or page on your website, more accessible for search engines like Google, Bing or Pinterest
- Keyword: a word or phrase that is (ideally) relevant to your content
- External linking: linking to another website
- Backlink: when another website links back to you
- In-linking: linking to another post or page on your website
- Permalink: the entire URL of your post or page, ex: https://avdreader.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/level-up-optimize-seo-strategy/
- Slug: the specific part of the URL that you can change [“level-up-optimize-seo-strategy”]
- Broken link: when a link doesn’t take you to where it should. Sometimes it’s due to the website being down, the URL being changed, or the post/page being deleted
When writing a blog post – especially when coming up with a title – I tend to think a lot about how to incorporate SEO into my posts, and how to best leverage it to gain the most impact. Like we talked about last week, by leveraging SEO correctly, you gain credibility and traffic which can lead to new/more opportunities and even more traffic. To break down how to think about SEO and incorporate it into your website better, I came up with three over-arching things to think about: ‘Starting Off’, ‘Content’, and, ‘Other’. When the actions under each header are combined, you are better able to manage and leverage your SEO…..
- Upload a sitemap and verify your website with Google Webmaster Tools. WordPress.com automatically uploads a sitemap for you but, to verify your site, go to their support page and follow the steps there!
- Post consistently to get higher traffic to your website and essentially let search engines know that your blog is worth looking at (and ranking higher in searches)
- Place relevant keywords in your title, slug, image name, and post content
- Use a shorter slug (max 5 words) and avoid words like “the, and, to, by” etc)
- Make sure the title is relevant to your post content
- Write longer, actionable content around 2000 words that helps people solve a problem of theirs or get more information
- Include internal links to relevant posts you’ve written before, and link to credible external websites of high quality
- Use headings and images to break up text and make your post easier to read
- Add descriptive alt text to your images. This will be the description for your image when people pin your image to Pinterest, as well as an easy way for readers to know what your image is about in case the graphic doesn’t fully load
- Use relevant tags to describe your post and help readers and search engines pick up on what your post is about
[Related: SEO Basics for Beginners]
- By writing awesome content people will want to share on their own site and/or doing guest posts and interviews that link back to your site, you can grab backlinks and show Google that your content is relevant and popular. Some other ways to get backlinks is to post your content in multiple places and link back to the original post, create an infographic, or simply reach out to other bloggers and ask!
- Check your external links to see if you have any broken links. You can manually go through your blog and check the links themselves but that can take forever. Check out the tools & resources section below for a couple free link checkers to use!
- Search engines like Google and Pinterest favour websites that have high site speeds so increase your site speed to get higher up in searches! You can check your site speed using a couple tools I list below but a few ways to quickly increase your site speed is to delete any unnecessary widgets on your sidebar and footer, as well as compress the image sizes in your posts. The larger the image size, the longer it will take for the page to load.
Tools & Resources
- For Keywords
- For Broken Links
- For Site Speed
- If your website is self-hosted, use the Yoast SEO plugin
Aaaand that’s all for the major aspects of SEO strategy! Next week will be all about the more common SEO-related mistakes people make + how to fix them! In the meantime, congrats, we Leveled Up!! Now, what questions do you still have about SEO?? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll make sure to answer! Feel free to also share the post(s)!
And, if you have any questions now or at any point in the Level Up series or if there’s something you generally or specifically want me to talk about, feel free to comment below, tweet me @AvidReaderBlog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks, have a great day/night, and tata for now!